Is a house really a home if you cannot enjoy your comfort in it? Though the walls and roof protect you from outdoor elements, the thermostat is the brains of what keeps your living space at a habitable temperature. We have all interacted with the thermostat, but what is really going on behind the curtain? Understanding how thermostats work can be beneficial in these days of rising energy prices. It can also help you know when it is time to schedule a heater or AC repair in Cameron Park, CA. Rooter Hero is proud to be a local HVAC company offering installation, replacement, and repair services. That said, let’s review how some of the more common thermostats work.
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First, let’s clear up the difference between a thermostat and a thermometer. Both start with the Greek work "thermo," meaning heat. A thermometer measures the heat while a thermostat keeps the heat "static." However, a thermostat does both as it must be able to "read" the temperature of the room to properly maintain it. To do this, the thermostat uses one of many mechanisms. In this article, we will go over the mechanical thermostat as well as the digital.
Mechanical thermostats often use the bimetallic strip to control the temperature. The bimetallic strip, as the name suggests, is two strips of metal laminated together. One of the metals is a better conductor of heat than the other and therefore expands at lower temperatures than the other. When the temperature gets to a certain level, the metal bends the bimetallic strip enough to disrupt the electrical current, thereby turning off the heater.
Once the temperature cools, the bimetallic strip bends back into its original position and resumes the electrical current. This turns the heater back on.
Mechanical thermostats have been outdated thanks to incredible advances in technology. Digital thermostats are much more precise and accurate than mechanical thermostats, which can vary as much as five degrees from the target temperature. Digital thermostats use electronic sensors to read the temperature and send a signal to start or stop the heater depending on the difference. Of course, the precision and accuracy of digital thermostats comes with a higher price tag upfront. More reliable comfort is not all you will be getting for the upgraded thermostat though.
Digital thermostats give users the ability to preset temperatures and set schedules. Some even allow you to control temperatures remotely through the smart phone. If you forget to turn off the heater, you can simply do so with your phone. The energy savings make the digital thermostat a long-term investment.
The thermostat is a relatively sensitive device. Damage and even debris buildup can disrupt the whole system. If you are having issues with your thermostat or if you are ready to upgrade to a newer model, then call Rooter Hero to speak with a friendly representative. We are happy to give you a free price estimate upfront and have a technician dispatched to your location as soon as possible.
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